Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mint Juleps

It's Derby day and since I do live in the south we are ending our long day of working in the garden by watching the Kentucky Derby and drinking Mint Juleps.

There is some controversy surrounding the mint julep: were it was first made, to muddle or not to muddle the mint leaves, sugar vs. simple syrup, the type of whiskey to use. Like any traditional dish or drink there are variations by regions, towns, and families.

The important thing to remember about a mint julep is that it is basically pure alcohol. So drinker beware! But in moderation, they are incredibly refreshing on a warm summer afternoon.

That Girl's Mint Julep

2 teaspoons sugar
2 ounces club soda
15 or so thumb-sized mint leaves
3 ounces whiskey (your choice, but I like Makers Mark)
2 cups crushed ice
Mint tops for garnish

Place sugar into a 12 ounce glass. Add club soda and swirl to partially melt the sugar. Put in the mint leaves and use a muddler to press on the leaves, just enough to break the cell walls and release the oils into the sugar-soda mixture. Add whiskey. Top with ice and stir briefly. Garnish with mint tops. Makes 1.

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